This is Your Stop

All I know is I went to your retirement party on Wednesday, learned of your death on Thursday and the funeral is Tuesday.

The days don’t really matter, I guess, but you did.

With that big, goofy, carefree smile, you gave an apologetically long speech summing up thirty-five years of service to a roomful of co-workers who had come to say goodbye.

Not goodbye-goodbye.

Still, at the end of our ride together, I find solace in your legendary kindness

And fascination with nature.

You talked of forests the way most glow on about true love, so I often wondered why you even owned a house.

You belonged in a yurt nested in a huddle of towering Douglas Firs, but near enough to drive to the city to dance and socialize.

As your cubicle neighbor, I had a long list of standard-issue grievances that, in the end, made us both better.

You talked too much, laughed too loud, craved my attention, etc., etc.

In the decade we sat side-by-side, through you, I saw your mother’s smile and heard your father’s jokes.

I heard you hum when you were happy. 

And you were happy a lot

Or holding space for joy.

These are small comforts I lean up against in your absence.

I grieve you while being grateful

At how connected you were to silliness, but mensa when needed.

I grieve you while being grateful

For your curiosity and deep satisfaction with simple things like a steaming cup of cocoa.

I grieve you while being grateful

That you were my Mr. Rogers

because everybody needs one.

Somewhere you are humming now

And I just wanted to let these words dance around you 

like blustery fall leaves in the forest

I believe you have returned to.

 

Rest in Peace SJF

2 thoughts on “This is Your Stop

    • Thank you. It is sad and hard. More for his family than us, but still. Such a good guy and always looking for the bright side, and I hope he found it. Forever. He was a gift.

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